New ATM technology to help stop cashpoint thefts in the district

Cardtronics and the police were at Xscape on Saturday
Cardtronics and the police were at Xscape on Saturday

New technology is being used to stop cash machines being stolen in the district.

The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit is working with cashpoint provider, Cardtronics, to stop attacks against ATM machines and they were at Xscape in Castleford on Saturday to spread the message.

The anti-attack technology includes a traceable dye within the machine which, if sprayed, could help police identify a criminal up to five years later.

Marc Terry of Cardtronics said: “ATM attacks are a criminal waste of police time and are absolutely devastating to the local shops and communities where they take place.

"Not only are they often highly dangerous, they are also completely mindless as only a small handful of attacks actually result in the criminals accessing the cash.

"Despite this, between 2014 and 2018 the number of ATM attacks in the UK have doubled, which is why Cardtronics has invested heavily in the roll-out of our secure ATM initiative.

"Anyone considering an attack on one of our machines should think again, you will be caught, prosecuted, sent to prison for a long time and we will recover the funds from you by seizing your possessions if necessary. ATM crime does not pay – raid it, regret it.”

Several cash machines have been stolen in recent years, including the Co-op in Ackworth last summer, the machine on Waggon Lane in Upton last April, while the Aldi supermarket cash point in Pontefract was hit in November 2017.

Machines will now be branded with Cardtronics' ‘Secure ATM’ livery.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “In more rural areas in particular ATMs can be an important community resource – with the next nearest available machine often many miles away.

“People can come to rely on them but in the last year (financial) we have had a number of thefts and attempted thefts of cash points.

“As well as the inconvenience a stolen or damaged cash machine can cause, criminals are placing themselves and others in great danger by their actions.

“Criminals are resorting to increasingly dangerous methods in their pursuit of a machine. Tactics include pumping flammable gas into a machine or dragging it away – I am amazed no-one has been seriously injured or even killed.

“If you attack an ATM you risk a prison sentence."